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October 2016

Found 21 blog entries for October 2016.

A Look at Pricing Per Square Foot by RegionWhen comparing single-family homes started last year by region, the median price per square foot can vary quite a bit.

For example, contractor-built homes in the Pacific division price per square foot averaged $168 while speculatively built homes in the East South Central division averaged $78 per square foot.

“At $168 per square foot, new contractor-built single-family homes in Pacific are the most expensive to build exceeding the national average of $105 per square foot by 60 percent,” notes the National Association of Home Builders on its Eye on Housing blog. The price per square foot excludes the cost of developed land.

New England has the second most expensive contract prices per square foot at $149 per square foot. The region also had the priciest

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Got chills just thinking about how fun Halloween will be? Here are five things every trick-or-treater should know:

1. The weather’s going to be great. Temperatures in the Austin metro area should reach the mid-80s on Monday before cooling down to around 70 at night, the National Weather Service says.

2. Keep an eye out for traffic. Drivers have a hard time seeing pedestrians, especially at dusk, so never cross the street from between parked cars. Follow traffic signals and don’t jaywalk. Beware of cars backing up or turning.

3. Watch what goes in the bag. Try to avoid eating treats until you get home. Inspect all treats before you eat them. Candy that has been opened should be thrown away. Any homemade treats or fruit should be inspected

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“Austin was viewed as a fluke five years ago,” said Mitch Roschelle of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, when referring to Austin as a contender as one of the nation’s hottest market; but the city’s track record has now confirmed Austin as a solid investment market.

“After playing second fiddle to Dallas in last year’s survey, Austin came out on top this year — surprising some of the people involved in compiling the report” said the ABJ report. Austin beat out Dallas-Fort Worth, Portland, and Seattle.

For the full story, check out ...

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A room’s size is sometimes a matter of perception, and the paint color on the walls has a lot to with that perception. Some colors can actually make a room appear smaller, while other colors can make the walls expand and feel larger.® recently highlighted some of the paint colors to create the illusion of more space, including:

White: White reflects light, thereby making a space look brighter and feel more open. “White will make any room appear bigger and complement the natural lighting,” Than Merrill, a real estate investor and host of A&E’s “Flip This House” told®.

Yellow: A creamy and soft yellow can also reflect light, and can create a softer alternative to white (as long as it’s not too bold of a yellow). Add white accents,

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Homes built in the last six years are 74 percent larger than those built in the 1910s, according to a new study released by PropertyShark, a real estate information site. Americans have lots more space to themselves too, considering average households have fallen from 4.5 to 2.5 people in that timeframe too.

In other words, Americans have a whopping 211 percent more of living space in newer homes than they did a century ago.

“U.S. homes have shown a steady and quite remarkable rate of growth in size over the past 100 years,” according to the PropertyShark study. “The average new home in America, be it condo or house, now spreads over 2,430 square feet.”

Some cities are building even larger than the average, notably San Antonio, Texas; Orlando; and

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There’s a lot going on this week to get you and your family in the Halloween spirit. Here are some recommendations from our partners at Free Fun in Austin.

Austin Parks and Recreation Halloween Carnivals – Tuesday, October 25 – Friday, October 28. Enjoy seven FREE Halloween carnivals at Austin recreation centers!

Preposterous Puppet Show Players Storytime – Wednesday, October 26 at 10:30 a.m. Little ghouls and goblins are invited to a super special and silly Halloween themed storytime featuring BookPeople’s puppeteers. They will be performing and thrilling everyone with their delightfully spooky senses of humor and puppeteering skills. Costumes encouraged. FREE! BookPeople, 603 N Lamar, Austin.

Glow-in-the Dark Costume Dance Party – Thursday,

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A neighborhood during midday can look and sound drastically different in the evening. Home buyers may consider spending more time scouting out the house they’re interested in at various hours of the day and night to determine if the home truly is a good fit.

A recent® article highlights the best times for clients to check out a property before buying:

8 a.m. Drive the area in rush hour. How will it affect your commute, whether that’s a drive in to work or using public transportation? Start from the home and run the routes.

10 a.m. What do you hear now? Construction, traffic noise, or barking dogs? “I would also drive my street on a weekday and see how many people have cars in their driveways,” Feldberg says “Are there other neighbors around,

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The state of Texas added more than 38,000 non-agricultural jobs in the month of September, which helped keep the state unemployment rate just below the national level. But a deeper look into the jobs being created shows that some long-time goods producing industries are struggling as service jobs, including government jobs, continue to grow.

According to state numbers, the mining and logging industry in Texas has seen a 13.1 percent drop in employment in the last year, or a total loss of 33,800 jobs. At the same time, the manufacturing industry dropped 3.1 percent in the last year, giving up 27,000 jobs. Combined with construction the industries still employ over 1.5 million Texans, but the three have lost over 50,000 jobs in the last year.


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The South Is Getting RichHouseholds in the South are seeing their incomes rise the fastest these days. Among the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S., the biggest household income gains were found in the South, notably Nashville, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Atlanta.

The Census Bureau recently reported that median household incomes nationwide increased 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015. A closer look behind that percentage shows a breakdown of where most of those increases are occurring.

Additional cities in the South also seeing large gains in incomes: Memphis, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, N.C.

Seven of the 15 cities growing faster than 5 percent are all in the South, the data shows. The following metros have seen the largest gains in median household incomes:

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It’s mid-October, the temperature is 91 degrees and your home’s air conditioning unit is still running as if it were the middle of June. When temperatures can fluctuate so wildly like they do in Central Texas, having a programmable thermostat can help you save on your energy bill.

Since programmable thermostats are becoming more commonplace, Austin Energy amended its energy code this summer requiring all new homes have a programmable thermostat. The new code went into effect on Sept. 1. Carlos Cardova, a spokesperson for Austin Energy, says the city’s energy code is updated every three years.

By using a programmable thermostat, consumers can save money by simply setting their thermostat when they’re asleep or away from home. Programmable thermostats

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